Indian skipper Virat Kohli has confirmed that star opener Shikhar Dhawan's thumb will remain in plaster for a couple of weeks before he is expected to make a return for the later half of the 2019 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup.
Speaking after his side's clash against New Zealand was washed out on Thursday, Kohli said, "Shikhar will be in a plaster for a couple of weeks, we'll assess and see. Hopefully, he'll be available for the later half and the semi-finals. He's motivated, we wanted to keep him back."
It means Dhawan is expected to remain out of action at least till ICC World Cup 2019 clash against West Indies, which is slated to take place on June 27 at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground.
The 33-year-old opener played through pain after being hit on his thumb by a delivery from pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile during the Men in Blue's 36-run win over Australia in their second clash of the quadrennial event at The Oval in London. He went on to score 117 off 109 balls to be adjudged Man of the Match.
On Tuesday, Dhawan underwent precautionary scans to determine the extent of the injury on his swollen left thumb and now Kohli has provided a fresh update on Dhawan.
News agency PTI on Wednesday reported that Rishabh Pant has flown to England but he will only be announced as a replacement if Dhawan is officially ruled out of the tournament.
Notably, Dhawan has been a consistent performer in major ICC events. In the ICC World Cup 2015, Dhawan had notched up a total of 412 runs at an average of 51.50. He is now only the third Indian batsman to notch up at least three ICC World Cup centuries.